Ham hock is one of those massively underrated cuts of meat thats really cheap (about £1.50 each) and packed full of flavour. Make sure you buy a gammon hock rather than a plain pork hock though, gammon is raw pork that has been cured, ham is gammon that has been cooked. This is one of those dishes that is perfect for a cold day and the smell of it simmering gently on the hob will ensure you are ravenous by the time its ready!
I have some amazing Puy lentils leftover from my Good Fork Deli Box and thought they would go beautifully with the ham. The leftover ham stock is amazing, use it to add loads of flavour to soups and gravies (it freezes really well too).
- 1 gammon hock
- 2 onions
- 3 carrots
- 3 sticks celery
- 4 bay leaves
- 300g green lentils (Puy are wonderful but any will still be great)
- big knob of butter
- Put the hock in a saucepan of cold water and leave overnight to remove most of the salt. Drain, rinse then cover with cold water and add 1 of the onions (quartered) and 2 carrots and 2 sticks of celery cut in half. Then add your bay leaves and about 8 peppercorns. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 3 hours.
- Remove the hock and put in a big bowl, pour over about 600ml of the stock and leave to cool (this will stop the meat from drying out and keep it lovely and moist). Strain the remaining stock into a large jug and set aside.
- Meanwhile dice the remaining onion, carrot and celery and gently fry in butter to soften.
- Rinse your lentils then add them to the veg along with about 1L of the strained stock then simmer for about 30- 40 minutes. If it seems dry add some more stock. You want your lentils cooked but still with a bit of bite to them.
- Whilst that is simmering strip your hock of its meat and let the meat continue to sit in the stock.
- Stir the meat through your cooked lentils, sprinkle with parsley and enjoy with a hunk of crusty bread and a glass of wine.